DUBAI, June 8 (Reuters) – Qatar’s bourse fell in early trade on Monday after a senior FIFA official said Doha could be stripped of World Cup hosting rights if evidence emerges of bribery in the bidding process, while Dubai’s Amlak surged further at the expense of other stocks.
The Doha index edged down 0.4 percent as most stocks fell. But heavyweight Qatar National Bank added 1.2 percent, offsetting some wider market losses.
Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, told a Swiss newspaper on Sunday that no evidence of vote-buying had emerged, but that if it did, Russia’s and Qatar’s winning bids — respectively, for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments — would be invalidated.
Investors in the Gulf state have reacted nervously to all announcements since the initial arrests of several FIFA officials and the launch of criminal probes against them.
Although most government spending is likely to continue with or without the cup, losing it would deal a blow to Qatar’s reputation and to sentiment among local retail investors.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Dubai’s index slipped 0.2 percent as investors were dumping most stocks and buying shares in mortgage lender Amlak Finance, which surged 15 percent, which is its daily limit, for a fourth session in a row and accounted for more than half of total traded value.
Amlak resumed trading last week after being suspended for nearly six years because of debt problems. Dubai’s index has roughly doubled in that time.
Abu Dhabi edged up 0.3 percent as blue chips telecommunications firm Etisalat climbed 0.9 percent.
Oman’s bourse was nearly flat and Kuwait edged down 0.5 percent. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Gareth Jones)